Outdoor Trail Trainers

Outdoor Trail Trainers

Using Outdoor Trail Trainers can help with safety in the winter, as well as improving performance for fitness and upcoming races.

Below we have some information and suggestions to help you on the subject.

Winter footwear

As the weather gets particularly muddy and slippery a number of bootcampers have asked about appropriate footwear.

Ideally, you want to be looking at trail running shoes/ trainers, as they offer good support and a better grip.  Some people wear football boots, but we don’t really recommend these as they can be dangerous during group games, and don’t give the adequate support for the activities we take part in! Normal running trainers have great grip on Tarmac but none in mud, and the wetter unstable terrain that we have in the Winter. When wearing the wrong type of trainers, you may find yourself sliding about and in some cases cause your self an injury by tripping, slipping or twisting in the wrong way.

The benefit of trail trainers is that you can use them for Bootcamps, and then also in an obstacle race. You will find that spiked, studded or bladed boots are banned at races. This will make a pair of trail shoes a sound investment and will be there for you when you sign up to the trail, obstacle and mud races, such as Total Warrior and Tough Mudder.

Which Trainers to buy completely depends on your budget, your running style and the support that you need for your feet, knees and ankles; but there are great trainers out there to suit everyone’s needs. Personally, I need to have a trainer with strong ankle support, as I have weak ankles. You may prefer waterproof trainers, a lighter weight pair or ones that allow your feet to breathe. It’s all down to your own preferences.

Suggestions to look at:

Budget (£25-£30)

At the budget end of the spectrum are trail trainers by Karrimor. These can be bought from SportsDirect for under £30. There  are also some by a company called More Miles. A lot of people use the More Miles trainers in obstacle races, and people absolutely rave about them. You will find these at around the £25 mark. Both offer great grip and fantastic value for money.

Mid-range (£50-£65)

  1. Adidas Kanadia Range,
  2. Asics Fuji runnegade (Recommended for mud runs) These are deemed to be more running rather than trail trainers, but they are great for extreme conditions, and give better support as well as great grip.

Top of the range (£60-£120)

Here, the price can sky rocket, depending what you want for your money. You will find that you have a lot more options in this price range in terms of the colours that you want and the variability that you want from your shoes.

Some of the most popular shoes in this price range are listed and reviewed below:

  1. Brooks Cascadia 4. – These keep out the rain but allow moisture. They offer great stability and is also eco-friendly
  2. Salomon speedcross 3 trainers have great grip, are light weight,  and come with a two year guarantee. A great blog on these trainers from the Red Wine Runner is particularly helpful, and advises that the Speedcross 2 trainers are excellent as well.
  3. Salomon Fellraisers
  4. ASICS Gel-Fujitrabuco 3 G-Tx

UK Outdoor Fitness Choice Inov-8 X Talon These trainers are Obstacle course approved, and are worn by many members of the UK Outdoor Fitness community. Please note though these trainers have a heel drop and you should be looking in to this http://www.inov-8.com/New/Global/Transition-Journey.html Jumping straight into using these type of trainers from heavily cushion trainers can aggravate or cause knee,ankle and calf injuries. Its takes time to get used to them (See link above) They are also not the best wearing on hard concrete or indoor surfaces


There are many other options that you can go for, which completely depend on your personal preferences. Prices vary from £60 – £120 as many companies do Goretex versions of their shoes as well as multiple colour options. You then get into the specialist shoes like the  Irock, and Icebug trainers, who all make specialist trail trainers and are widely used in obstacle races.

When looking at trainers please make sure you check the following  features:

  • heel drop,
  • weight,
  • comfort,
  • ankle support,
  • foot protection,
  • style and cushioning levels.

The world is your oyster when it comes to trail trainers!!


(Please note this article based on recommendations from our trainers experience and research we have taken through third party websites, companies and personal blogs. We accept no responsibility if and when you purchase any of our recommendations in the unfortunate event of a fall, trip or injury UK Outdoor Fitness Ltd, and UK Health and Well Being accepts no responsibility or liability) 

Blog Written by Trainers of UK Outdoor Fitness; Rob Maher, Eric Chitty and Paul Smith 



About The Author


  • By Vicky - on

    Hi, I had never bought a Trail trainer before but recently bought Topo Athletic’s shoe the Runventure, they cost about £100 so more your ‘Top of the Range’. They don’t have a heel drop like you mentioned in Inov-8 x Talon, instead they favor a neutral ride. I really liked this trainer and just thought I would give them a mention as the brand are reasonably unheard of! Nice design and decent grip for our muddy weather!


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